Futures thinking processes
A bundle of mini methods that support groups work towards long-term strategic thinking and problem solving.
Randomly selected online panel
Similar to an opt-in e-panel except members are randomly-selected to avoid bias.
Online discussion forum
Online forum where invited or self-selected participants contribute to an online discussion about a topic or project for a set period of time.
A forum where a representative sample of the community deliberates on a topic, issue or proposal. Forums last at least 2 days.
An exploratory, facilitated group method where participants are asked to close their eyes and visualise what their community looks like now and in the future. Uses visualisation and dialogue and may be extended to include creative arts activities.
Research involving a community of practice trying to solve a problem through action. Communities act as “co-researchers”.
A website where content is not owned by a specific person or organisation, but is created, deleted or modified by members of the public.
A structured process to host a conversation with community or stakeholder representatives. Includes a series of questions that are objective, then reflective, interpretive and decisional.
A structured process where participants discuss a question or series of questions at a group of small tables.
Community and stakeholders are invited to tour a site to gain a deeper understanding or to gain first-hand experience.
A method for hosting a meeting, conference or summit which is focused on a particular purpose or topic, but which has no formal agenda set.
A form of discussion where participants agree to suspend judgments to fully explore a question and seek shared meaning.
A structured method to explore specific, complex issues, and where participants work in small groups.
Gathering ideas, services and content, from online users, rather than from staff or suppliers. Crowdsourcing can including asking for solutions to a problem, seeking funding for a project such as a start-up (crowdfunding) developing creative content or graphics, or to gather information. Can include a competition or incentive.
Process where the community works with an organisation through its budgeting process.
Photo visioning / photo voice / photo journals
Community members gather and share photos that represent their ideas or preferences for the future. Can be incorporated into face-to-face engagement events, or collected and shared online.
Capturing participants ideas, expressions and discussions in real-time during an engagement activity, to create a visual representation of the discussions.
Future search conference
A future planning process where participants undertake a series of sessions on the past, present, future, common ground, and action planning. Designed to develop a shared vision for the future.
A large-scale 2-3 day event where a large number of diverse people come together to consider information, engage in dialogue, participate in interactive activities and make recommendations.
Participants individually write their ideas, concerns, issues on cards. These are shared in small groups then categorised by the whole group.
Appreciative Inquiry (AI)
A structured process for decision making that focuses on building on strengths (“what works well”), rather than focusing on problems and limitations.